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Rio Tinto leads the way to Rio de Janeiro.
On Thursday, the Confederation of North, Central America and Carribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced Rio Tinto Stadium, home of Real Salt Lake, will host the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying semifinal and final matches on Saturday, Oct. 10, and Tuesday, Oct. 13.
The two finalists automatically qualify directly for the 2016 Olympic tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, next summer. The winner of the third-place match, also to be played at Rio Tinto, will face the South American Olympic qualifying runner-up Colombia in a playoff for an additional spot.
According to a source, Rio Tinto Stadium beat out fellow hosts stadiums like the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., and Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., to host the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying semifinal and final.
"We are pleased again to host a significant international qualifier at Rio Tinto Stadium and appreciate CONCACAF awarding these games for our great fans," RSL president Bill Manning said in a release.
The tournament is scheduled to commence on Thursday, Oct. 1, with group stage matches starting play in Commerce City, Colo., Kansas City, Kan., and Carson, Calif. The eight participating national teams will be divided into two groups of four. The United States men's national team, headlined by U-23 captain and RSL midfielder Luis Gil, is seeded in Group A, which starts at Sporting Park on Oct. 1. The group draw will take place in August.
Mexico, the defending CONCACAF champion and 2012 gold-medal winners in London, will headline Group B, which will begin Oct. 2 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
This will be Rio Tinto's first time hosting an Olympic qualifying event. In recent years, the stadium has hosted FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the 2010 and 2014 tournaments as well as a 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup group match.
Among other major soccer events, Rio Tinto has hosted the U.S. Open Cup final, CONCACAF Champions League final, 2009 MLS All-Star Game and friendlies for the U.S. women's national team.
"The state's history of patriotism and Olympic legacy, as well as past success with U.S. Soccer events and the Utah Sports Commission certainly helped set us apart," RSL vice president of communications Trey Fitz-Gerald said.
CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship 2015
» Oct. 1: Group A: Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.
» Oct. 2: Group B: StubHub Center, Carson, Calif.
» Oct. 3: Group A: Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.
» Oct. 4: Group B: StubHub Center, Carson, Calif.
» Oct. 6: Group A: Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo.
» Oct. 7: Group B: Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo.
» Oct. 10: Semifinals: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy
» Oct. 13: Third-place and final: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy